Can you really finance a business on social media?

It was probably inevitable that the tried and true friends and family approach to small business financing would make its way to the small screen. And while it is hard to imagine making a pitch for an equity investment or a loan to Uncle Charlie or your second cousin’s brother-in-law, it appears some people are doing it this way.

If this sounds slightly ridiculous to you, rest assured that the experts suggest it’s really just the internet age version of something much more conventional — sending a note to request a conversation.

You must admit that for those who have built a community of dozens or hundreds of contacts, it only makes good sense to announce your fund-raising drive and leverage your network to lead you to what might be a workable source. Perhaps the confusion comes from the crowd-funding phenomenon and the assumption that you can finance your business start-up or expansion in $20 increments. Except for very unusual circumstances, this isn’t the model to rely on.

But in an era when banks pay hardly anything in the way of interest, people do look for more attractive investments that they can understand and perhaps monitor. It might be a good thing that you remembered to send your Aunt Polly a Christmas card every year.

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